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Farmers exempt from emission reporting

Farmers exempt from emission reporting

NPPC welcomes EPA’s rule, which will save pork producers time and use of costly resources

By Kate Ayers
Staff Writer

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a rule that exempts livestock producers from reporting routine farm emissions to government authorities.

“The rule announced today is the final piece in the implementation of the FARM Act, which passed Congress earlier this year. (It eliminates) the need for livestock farmers to estimate and report to the federal government, emissions from the natural break down of manure,” Jim Heimerl, National Pork Producers Council’s (NPPC’s) president and Ohio hog farmer, said in an organization release on Oct. 30th.

“That bipartisan measure was approved because it was unnecessary and impractical for farmers to waste their time and resources alerting government agencies that there are livestock on farms.”

The Fair Agricultural Reporting Method (FARM) Act, addressed an issue caused in April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 EPA rule that relieved farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the release said.

Under the April ruling, farmers would have needed to guess and report the emissions from manure on their farms to the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Response Centre.

EPA’s proposed rule exempts producers from such reporting, the release said.

“The pork industry wants regulations that are practical and effective but applying CERCLA and EPCRA (Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act) to livestock farms would be neither,” Heimerl said.

“Pork producers are very strong stewards of the environment and have taken many actions over the years to protect it.”

For example, Smithfield Foods is introducing projects that will help the company reach a 25 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, the release said.

Indeed, the pork industry, along with other livestock sectors, is working with state and emergency response agencies to ensure officials receive useful data from farms. 

Oleksandr Lipko/ iStock/Getty Images Plus photo

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